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Libertyville Family Law Blog

Illinois ranks middle-of-the-range for happiness, environment

If you're interested in knowing the happiest places to live and raise a family, then you should look no further than this report from Sept. 17. According to the news story, the happiest place to live is Hawaii, but Illinois made the list at number 23.

When Illinois ranked number 23, it was down to a few factors. It was ranked number 12 in emotional and physical well-being, ranked 44th for community and environment and 45th for work environment. It ranked very low in the long-term unemployment rate category, which also has a negative impact on marriages and divorces due to financial strain.

What should you know about child support as a single parent?

You're paying child support, so you should know much about how the process works. As a father, it's important that you know what you may have to pay for support or if it's due to you. It all depends on the circumstances of your child custody arrangement.

If you're paying support, one thing to ask is how long the support is supposed to last. For most children, support continues until your child is not a minor any longer. You may also stop paying in some instances, such as when your child is on active duty with the military, if your minor child is emancipated or if your parental rights are terminated.

Don't jump into another relationship during divorce

A divorce isn't easy for anyone, but it's particularly hard if you're already interested in seeing someone else. You should know that even if you separate, having a significant other isn't the best idea. Why? If your spouse finds out and has a problem with it, the situation could lead to a divorce where your spouse claims you're at fault.

Even though property is divided equitably in Illinois, a spouse could show that your actions cost them financial security or caused other concerns that could make a judge grant them more of the marital property than you were expecting.

Develop a custody schedule or a judge will do it for you

When you and your estranged spouse no longer get along, determining child custody arrangements in a divorce isn't always easy. You may have little or no communication with one another other than to allow your child to see or communicate with the other parent.

This isn't healthy. It also makes it very hard to develop a custody schedule that works for everyone and in the best interests of your child. As a parent, it's up to you to set aside your differences and focus on how you can help your child best during and following the divorce.

Benefit from mediation during your divorce

Mediation is something that helps significantly with certain divorces. For individuals who are able to negotiate with one another and who can agree to work together for the betterment of their situation, mediation can provide the loose structure needed to resolve disputes without having to go to court.

Mediation has a number of benefits. Some of the most often cited include being able to come up with out-of-the-box ideas for resolving problems, the fact that mediation typically costs less than going to trial and that mediation tends to result in a longer-lasting resolution to a couple's issues.

How can you encourage your child to adjust to a divorce?

Your child is your pride and joy, so there is nothing worse than having to deal with his or her discontentment during divorce. You know your child isn't adjusting well, but you're not sure what to do.

You're not alone. Children don't always adjust to divorce well right away. Many struggle with the idea of a divorce and don't understand why their parents don't want to live together. Others hate the idea of custody arrangements. Some may believe that they're the cause of the divorce.

Does my child have a say in custody arrangements?

Divorcing when you have a child is undoubtedly different. Even when the split is in everyone's best interests, it can be upsetting for parents to divide time with their child. As such, determining custody and parenting time can be an emotional process.

This can be especially true if a child has a strong opinion on the parent with whom he or she wants to live. But do kids have a say in custody? Does what they want take precedent over everything else?

Getting a divorce? Here are three pitfalls to avoid

If your marriage is ending, you are probably experiencing a lot of overwhelming stress worrying about how to do everything correctly. The financial and emotional impacts of divorce may impact you for the rest of your life.

There are a lot of common mistakes that divorcing couples make. Here are some pitfalls you should avoid: 

Can I require my co-parent to work certain kinds of jobs?

Say that you divorced a few years ago from your children's other parent. She has always been a high earner, making at least two times what you did. In fact, you may even have stayed at home for a while when your children were young, and that set you back a few years professionally.

When you divorced, you and your co-parent worked out your own child support and spousal maintenance agreements. Your co-parent has held up her part of the agreements. Now, however, she has quit her job and taken a lower-paying position that she says fulfills her emotionally and is less draining mentally. It does mean that she has less to contribute financially. Is this fair? Can you ask a judge to force your co-parent to get another high-paying job?

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